A New Ulster 49

Page 1

ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online)

Featuring the works of. Ann Egan, Steve Klepetar, Alan Britt, Peter O’Neill, Csilla Toldy, Strider Marcus Jones, Eileen Sheehan, John W Sexton, Maria Miraglia, Louis Mulcahy, Ingrid Casey and Alice Kinsella. Hard copies can be purchased from our website.

Issue No 49 October 2016

A New Ulster On the Wall Website

Editor: Amos Greig Editor: Arizahn Editor: Adam Rudden Contents


page 5

Ann Egan;

1. Raindrops 2. Hillock 3. Tractor Steve Klepetar; 1. Father’s Day 2. Waking After the Rain 3. Burning 4. Update Have Been Installed 5. Grave Lake Reverie Alan Britt; 1. Empathy 2. Santa 3. Robbery in Progress 4. The Ground Peter O’Neill; & CeeJay 1. Autumn Song 2. Deserted Evenings 3. Poeme pour Peter O’Neill 4. Postcard from the Edge Csilla Toldy; 1. Waves 2. Fire-Bird 3. The Cellist 4. Mirror Strider Marcus Jones; 1. Childhood Fires 2. The Green Man 3. Standing Stones 4. Mourning Dad 5. Sleep Wine 6. Sliding Down Old Benbulbin


Eileen Sheehan 1. Angel 2. In This New Town 3. Spierbhean 4. Turn John W Sexton; 1. The Enchanted Cowpat 2. The Willowed Grove 3. Grave of the Unkown Cat 4. Annunciation Maria Miraglia; 1. Holy Eves Louis Mulcahy; 1. An Unstoppable Force 2. After Creation 3. Appreciating Flaws in the Familiar Ingrid Casey; 1. Love: After Neruda’s Sonnet XXXIII 2. Erasmus 3. Single Mother 4. Mandible 5. Glock 6. A Belgian town Alice Kinsella: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Separated Pigeon House chimneys Seashell Bedtime Prayer

On The Wall Message from the Alleycats

Round the Back


Manuscripts, art work and letters to be sent to: Submissions Editor A New Ulster 23 High Street, Ballyhalbert BT22 1BL Alternatively e-mail: g.greig3@gmail.com See page 50 for further details and guidelines regarding submissions. Hard copy distribution is available c/o Lapwing Publications, 1 Ballysillan Drive, Belfast BT14 8HQ Digital distribution is via links on our website: https://sites.google.com/site/anewulster/ Published in Baskerville Oldface & Times New Roman Produced in Belfast & Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland. All rights reserved The artists have reserved their right under Section 77 Of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 To be identified as the authors of their work. ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online) Cover Image “Undiscovered� by Amos Greig


“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. ” Aristotle Onassis. Editorial October has come marking our fourth anniversary looking back I cannot believe how far we have come since 2012 as well as the poetry scene in Northern Ireland as well. When I started this venture there was a small number of outlets for poetry in the North however since we started the number of outlets has risen to include The Honest Ulsterman, Abridged and The Incubator to name just a few. What makes our birthday special is that we continue to provide a monthly platform for poetry, prose and more, we accept work from new and established writers and many of those who have been published by us for the first time have gone onto to even greater heights with their work that is something I’m proud off as a poet myself I am well aware of how hard it was to get published. The social and political aspect of A New Ulster is still of importance to me I believe that poetry unites and brings together people from different walks of life and with the use of new technologies makes the world that much smaller. A New Ulster or ANU as some call it affectionatly has become a global phenomena with readers worldwide as well as submissions. I am very pleased with the submissions for this issue indeed we had so many thatI’m working on the 50th issue at the same time I’ll still release it next month but 50 issues I am deeply humbled by that. I hope you enjoy the work within this edition and I’m pleased to saw that one of the poets from our very first issue will be in this one as well.

Amos Greig Editor.


Biographical Note: Ann Egan

Ann Egan, a multi-award winning Irish poet, has held many residencies in counties, hospitals, schools, secure residencies and prisons. Her books are: Landing the Sea (Bradshaw Books); The Wren Women (Black Mountain Press); Brigit of Kildare (Kildare Library and Arts Services) andTelling Time (Bradshaw Books). She has edited more than twenty books including, ‘The Midlands Arts and Culture Review,’ 2010. She lives in County Kildare, Ireland.


Raindrops (Ann Egan)

Drop after drop falls with an army’s precision,

marches into the soil, overwhelms, sends warriors far.

Sky’s footsoldiers skim downwards and across,

until the flags of surrender float across bog cotton.

Curlews flee their strongholds. A new sky is captured.


Hillock (Ann Egan)

Clumps of clay piled high over stones fostered from this quiet field, rise like a song, create a hillock.

A crane flies across, spreads shadows delicately as a dancer rising on her toes.

Colours of a breeze’s undersides weave a trove of wonder like a child’s reaching for a story’s finish.

Peace of the bog beyond blackthorns soars in plainness of a January morning dreaming a place where stones and clay soar.


Tractor (Ann Egan)

Ditch’s depths are rich in ferns, foxgloves, scatterings of wild dogrose beneath silver birch.

The time of year is come for the tractor to cut back all that grows in freedom’s wind.

Branches’ secrets are cast aside, leave an uncluttered way to look at the sky’s ceiling.


Biographical Note: Steve Klepetar

Steve Klepetar’s work has appeared worldwide, in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Chiron, Deep Water, Expound, Phenomenal Literature, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Voices Israel, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize (including three in 2015). Recent collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto and The Li Bo Poems, both from Flutter Press. His full-length collection Family Reunion is forthcoming from Big Table Publishing.


Father’s Day (Steve Klepetar)

When he rose from the lake, my father looked like an old god tired of heaven

sputtering, shaking his mane of white hair as droplets caught the summer sun

scattering into rainbow beads. Three strides and he was on the shore

rubbing himself dry with a blue towel. Without his glasses, he looked strange

his silence somehow magnificent, as if a store of languages had been pent up

growing in power as it gathered behind his tongue’s resisting dam, a flood

waiting to rage, trees and rocks and cities swept broken before that tide, down to the embracing sea.


Waking After Rain (Steve Klepetar)

Last night I dreamed I had no face but in the morning, with our street wet with rain,

I saw it, misted on the bedroom window, a round face with a fighter’s crooked nose.

How old it looked, staring in at me. Where did the child go, with his raven hair? How long since those wings unfolded with joy?

I have flown inside myself, a shadow of a shadow searching among dark blood for some vestige of hands that used to burn, some fragment to call my own.


Burning (Steve Klepetar)

I am burning and burning the leaves of the past,

watching fragrant smoke rise into soft flesh of clouds.

I have peeled away layers and layers of skin, laid them

in still earth. I have soaked my hands with rain. Now I hear

your footsteps descending stairs in a house surrounded

by fog. Your hair floats on a wind blowing in from another land,

a country without name or flag or cities rusting through silent years.


Updates Have Been Installed (Steve Klepetar)

A crow’s head, mounted on a mirror in the hall. A waxwork figure of my uncle, with stolen diamonds dripping from his palms. One of his daughter’s broken teeth.

The past shudders back to life in this town where my cousin’s hands dangle from her father’s belt: the long shadow of an oak cut down and flung across the yard.


Grave Lake Reverie (Steve Klepetar)

Itasca, Minnesota

Sky stares down through trees until I’m forced to blink, turn away, feel dead eyes boring a jagged pair of holes through the flesh of my neck.

Where has summer gone? The lake churns in the wind, stone gray, a photograph in an old yearbook or entrance to the shadow world.

It’s true that we live uncertainly, following our feet to this colorless expanse. Breath after breath we move further from ourselves, those husks made of words and lies and wishes and dreams


Biographical Note: Alan Britt In August 2015 Alan Britt was invited by the Ecuadorian House of Culture BenjamĂ­n CarriĂłn in Quito, Ecuador as part of the first cultural exchange of poets between Ecuador and the United States. During his visit, he participated in venues all across the country including the international literary conference sponsored by La hermandad de las palabras 2015 in Babahoyo, Ecuador. In 2013 he served as judge for the The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award. His interview at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem aired on Pacifica Radio, January 2013. His latest books include Violin Smoke (Translated into Hungarian by Paul Sohar and published in Romania: 2015; Lost Among the Hours: 2015; Parabola Dreams (with Silvia Scheibli): 2013; and Alone with the Terrible Universe: 2011. He teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University.

ALAN BRITT: Library of Congress Interview: http://www.loc.gov/poetry/media/avfiles/poet-poem-alan-britt.mp3 ALAN BRITT, 233 Northway Road, Reisterstown, MD 21136, USA (PH: 443-834-8105...EM: alanbritt@comcast.net)


EMPATHY (Alan Britt)

It's not wrong to say it's wrong, & it's not wrong to worry about it.

It's what it is. Stretch habits as far as archaic nylon stockings permit. Remember, bones bear the weight of a bellyful of atoms.

You want to sparkle in the afterlife, yes . . . with reformed pharaohs, quantum engineers & distinguished, albeit non-celebrated poets, now, don’t you?

So, choose the life you long to live, arms & imagination open wide.


SANTA (Alan Britt)

If Santa landed today, where would he touch down exactly?

US, Britain, the Falklands?

Not so much the Far East, but France, Belgium, Germany, & most of Latin America?

If Santa touched down, today, where would he hang his exhausted cap: the Ukraine, Romania, or Tampa, Florida, with grapefruits like five pound liquid suns?

If only Santa, if only Santa

were nonpartisan.



Even though you say it was an accident, I ask, are you certain you didn't do it accidentally on purpose? How can you be sure? As I don't have a farmer's clue anymore; do you? Hurts my soul, baby, when I find the key to love. Not what I had in mind, but I guess it'll do for a time. My Great Aunt Pearl dropped biscuits for Civil War veterans while studying the contorted history of the US, leaving her red-knuckled legacy to sisters, sons, daughters-in-law to follow, to carry on according to recent DNA, according to John Cameron Swayze slinging a Timex across the snowy screens of infant television, proving that post war USA can take a licking & keep on ticking.


Nevertheless, I'll see what I can do; meanwhile, I'll take that check in cash, if you know what I mean. 19

THE GROUND (Alan Britt)

Ground twitches as Preakness releases another thunderous thrill. Ground trembles like middle school lunch trays skittering cashier's left contact, buffalo nickels grazing her succulent right.

Ground never so nervous as psychopaths ringing bells for the receding mob barbequing in cargo shorts & striving for all they're worth to forgive those who trespassed against them.

Ground broke, bridges fell, & buildings collapsed upon themselves . . . . . debris unbreathable, the dream unbearable—& all for a future behind bars with the likes of Mescalero & White Mountain Apaches, two blue wolves, & one cigar smoking jaguar enjoying the hell out of solitary confinement!


Biographical Note: Peter O’Neill & CeeJay Peter O' Neill is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently Sker (Lapwing, 2016) and Divertimento The Muse is a Dominatrix ( mgv2>publishing, 2016). A translator of Dante and Baudelaire, he has also edited two publications with his publisher, Walter Ruhlmann, in France for mgv2>publishing; An Agamemnon Dead, an anthology of early twenty first century Irish poetry and Transverser, issue 81 of mgv2>datura. The founder of Donkey Shots, a festival of avant garde poetry held in his home-town of Skerries in north county Dublin, and The Gladstone Readings. His background is in philosophy and comparative literature. He was the writer in residence at the Loughshinny Boathouse Project for a three month period at the start of 2016, a position that was awarded to him by Fingal Arts. He is currently working on his first novel. CeeJay, pseudonym for Jean-Claude – Crommelynck, is of Belgian origin and is the author of Bombe voyage, bombe voyage ( maelstrÖm reEvolution, Bruxelles, 2014 ). He was the featured poet of mgv2_81 Transverser edited by Peter O' Neill and Walter Ruhlmann, 2015.


Autumn Song A translation of the poem by Baudelaire (Peter O’Neill)

I can already hear the funeral sound of the fallen Wood ringing out on the paving stones in the courtyard. Adieu, living clarity of our too short summers! Soon we will plunge into the glacial darkness. Like the sun in its polar hell My heart will only be a frozen red block. All of winter will enter my Be-ing: anger Frisson‌ horror, hate and forced labour! My spirit is like the tower which succumbs To the blows of the ram, heavy and indefatigable. I listen shivering at every branch which falls, The scaffold which we erect has not such a deafening echo. By being held in its monotonous impact, it seems That a great coffin is being made for someone. But for whom? Yesterday it was summer, and now it is autumn! This mysterious sound sings like a departure.




Deserted Evenings (Peter O’Neill)

An infinity of sadness pours out over the counter in the form of bottles and drinks. You stand behind it, the counter, like some stoic deity with the music wailing over you. Jazz, blues and opera, it all sweeps over the crowds in tidal waves; an aural wash. Though, it is the Hopper moments which you love best; Be-ing Carson McCullers inhabiting the very hands which dust and polish the elegant vessels raised aloft on their illuminated, glass plinths; the bar being completed deserted, full only of the eternal regret which inhabits certain weekday evenings, obscuring only the desolation of unlimited mornings, which you must also rise up to and replenish.


Poème pour Peter O' Neill Par CeeJay

Le vent lacère en lambeaux les nuages bas sur l'horizon blafard. L’innommé bouillonnement des brumes océanes dans ses nasses en tourbillon entraîne nos semblables. Ne reste qu'un paradis incendié et sanglant.

Postcard from the Edge after CeeJay (Peter O’Neill)

The wind lacerates the low cloud into tiny strips out on the horizon. The as yet unnamed bubbles in the darkening oceans, while in the turbulence of the fish traps life feverishly pulses. All that remains is a bloody and incendiary view of paradise.


Biographical Note: Csilla Toldy

Csilla Toldy was born in Budapest. She escaped from the socialist Hungary in 1981. For the next three years she lived in many European countries, in France, Austria and Germany, where she finally settled. She studied languages and worked as a translator in Germany. She moved to the British Isles with a writer's visa to work on films in 1995 Her writing was supported by British Screen, Media and Northern Ireland Screen She received a Masters Degree in Creating Writing for Film and Television from Sheffield University in 2003. She participated in workshops lead by: Sundance, Arista, The National Film and Television School With her scripts she won the Katapult Prize and The Special Prize of the Motion Pictures Association as the Hungarian winner of the HartleyMerrill Prize She lives in Northern Ireland in Rostrevor, at Carlingford Lough. Csilla works as a poet, writer and a tutor of creative writing, teaches yoga and meditation and writes about it.


Waves (Csilla Toldy) An opulent sea, velvet fingertips meander around fading memories rock to calm alien sensations: The waving fields gilded with sun flowers lavender hue dubbed on the horizon poppies rap morphine. Expansion couples contraction. The brain peaks with victory, survival, joy. Having accomplished the impossible. In its wake the body replays the act of labour, not torturous in the absence of mind, but when witting of ail it attacks: beast-like pulls the strings in the legs and hips as if each nerve was strung on a cello. Out of tune and rhythm an echo in the hollow the emptied body reverberates a distorted, perverse omen: Paradise lost, after love comes after-pain.


Fire-bird (Csilla Toldy)

She heard and saw them for the first time at the age of fifty one: luminous birds that could engulf her with their wings. Enamoured, stepping over the borders again, the woman marked her passage, tattooed it onto her heart with signs. She loved the pain the artist caused her, her blood oozing an overwhelming “yes”. The flames engulfed her body like a shield The wrinkles, creases of time embedded, waving the fever, all over. She could have been a witch in another life, he said waving the fever all over, the wrinkles, creases of time embedded. The flames engulfed her body like a shield, her blood oozing an overwhelming “yes”. She loved the pain the artist caused her, tattooed it onto her heart with signs. Again, the woman marked her passage enamoured, stepping over the borders that could engulf her with their wings, at the age of fifty one: luminous birds, she heard and saw them for the first time.


The cellist (Csilla Toldy)

rebelled against death and destruction his music saved the dignity of the dying restored the hope of the living his answer to war was harmony he says that with his life’s work done now delirium can cloud his pain and his dignity is the freedom to destroy his body hoping to find harmony in peace


Mirror (Csilla Toldy)

“I want to create images that would touch the viewer's soul to some degree.” Tarkovsky my soul touched the wind the wind that blows the rye the field waves like the sea you can hear it shshshshsh the wind sounds like the sea a man in the frame with his back to me watches the rye (that waves like the sea) It’s you. We’re watching. the wind touched my soul, the man, the sea the rye made a sound of shshshshsh


Biographical Note: Strider Marcus Jones Strider Marcus Jones – is a poet, law graduate and ex civil servant from Salford, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry https://stridermarcusjonespoetry.wordpress.com/ reveal a maverick, moving between forests, mountains, cities and coasts playing his saxophone and clarinet in warm solitude.

His poetry has been published in the USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Wales, France, Spain and Switzerland in numerous publications including mgv2 Publishing Anthology:And Agamemnon Dead; Deep Water Literary Journal; The Huffington Post USA; The Stray Branch Literary Magazine; Crack The Spine Literary Magazine; A New Ulster/Anu; Outburst Poetry Magazine; Amomancies 2015; The Galway Review; The Honest Ulsterman Magazine; The Lonely Crowd Magazine; Section8Magazine; Danse Macabre Literary Magazine; The Lampeter Review; Ygdrasil, A Journal of the Poetic Arts; Don't Be Afraid: Anthology To Seamus Heaney; Dead Snakes Poetry Magazine; Panoplyzine Poetry Magazine; Syzygy Poetry Journal Issue 1 and Ammagazine/Angry Manifesto Issue 3.


CHILDHOOD FIRES (Strider Marcus Jones) late afternoon winter fingers nomads in snow numb knuckles and nails on two boys in scuffed shoes and ripped coats carrying four planks of wood from condemned houses down dark jitty's slipping on dog shit into back yard to make warm fires early evening dad cooking neck end stew thick with potato dumplings and herbs on top of bread soaked in gravy i saw the hole in the ceiling holding the foot that jumped off bunk beds but dad didnt mind he had just sawed the knob off the banister to get an old wardrobe upstairs and made us a longbow and cricket bat it was fun being poor like other families after dark all sat down reading and talking in candle light with parents silent to each other our sudden laughter like sparks glowing and fading dancing in flames and wood smoke unlike the children who died in a fire next door then we played cards and i called my dad a cunt for trumping my king but he let me keep the word


THE GREEN MAN (Strider Marcus Jones) i have the green man growing in his tree feet to earth hands in sky head with heart. prophetic and pagan his persuasion is asking me to be like the mother who gave me birthbut now, even how we go to die is apart. his eyes behind his hair both stare at Babylonians becoming Old Bostonians changing us from Custodians leaving the DreamTime to work in line. my door, is always open in case he comes back in running half broken father mine from the mill dripping stale sweat on the hearth floor but i don't forget him shaping his words and hands everywhere he sits and stands so selfless to let me see how to set my own mind freebreak the blames that blind you and liberty will find you; real truth, is not what everyone knows but in their echoes unspoken shadows.


STANDING STONES (Strider Marcus Jones) i can still smell his shirt when he tramped home from work and slumped down beside us in his chair, lips cracked, shaking cotton fibres from his tusselled hair. he was like that: never wore a vain hat, or mask to hide the man he was and what he was from himself or anyone else. he told me my first joke, showed me how to roll a smoke in his thick, stained fingers. oh, how his voice echo lingers sowing moral ethics into politicsthrough the night, like Lenin, in reason and fight, making Attlee and Bevan's lintels bridge the standing stones of Marx and Engels over my youth. rising like monolith's of truth, opposing the dangers of privileged abyss, i watched, his turned wisdom change us into opposite strangers.


MOURNING DAD (Strider Marcus Jones) he is decomposed from a bramble rose nowhis thorns of storms drow, foetal curled in the underworld faerie peat without plough. is it fun with all those comical musical jacketed jestersor primplum suitedrun by posh ancestorsdoing the same this and that to keep your spirit level flat with docile protestors wired to silicon investors. i bought this new fedora hat in whitewashed Mijas to be my own brown Romany see aslet them face their ignominy when i wear it here in townlike an un-shoed horse from the roadgorse prancing right through their moralless light brim slanted defiantly down eyes outsider brown.


is it no Left or Right there. do you have your chair to sit in. can you smoke your pipe gathering stars in its clouds at night thinking thoughts in nothing. do you still use words to help wingless birds or is it silent to the violent fermenting fear when the truth comes near just like here.


SLEEP WINE (Strider Marcus Jones) sleep wine makes mortal time divineuntouchable from the trouble of worldly rubble. it is absurd to be purturbed by these disturbed sociopaths who grasp your life's path, and demonise you with disguised cruelty and liesyet, we succumb to being undone then left forever numbone more scapegoat, whose sorrow spoke in a final note: i curse austerity imposed by prosperity with criminal sincerity.



the dark emerald green descends in a dream that was thin sliding down old Benbulbin.

the mossy rocks set, like elemental clocks don't moveslow time is worn smooth.

then us hive bugs mortal in summer duds slide past to the bottom hanging on before forgotten.

understanding changeothers need to be strange in it allto repented blame they go walking in lashing rain


some less tall-

back to town lank hair matted down in the bar the same drink too far.


Biographical Note: Eileen Sheehan Eileen Sheehan: Eileen is from County Kerry. Anthology publications include The Poetry of Sex (Ed Sophie Hannah/ Penguin); The Watchful Heart: A New Generation of Irish Poets (Ed Joan McBreen/Salmon Poetry), and TEXT: A Transition Year English Reader (Ed Niall MacMonagle/ Celtic Press). Her work is featured on Poetry International Web. Her third collection, The Narrow Way of Souls, is forthcoming.


Angel (Eileen Sheehan) He said, I am old and everything has a bitter taint and besides I have only these oddments to offer; things broken, unfinished, unused and I’m not even sure why it is that I’ve kept them so long.

But she saw how his body radiated light and he carried not just a jumble of wheels, coils, springs but the very ones she’d been needing to mend the faltering mechanisms of her heart.

And his eyes were pure as a child’s and she knew

from that moment on


she was his entirely

First published in The Shop: A Magazine of Poetry (Ed John & Hilary Wakeman. From Song of the Midnight Fox (Doghouse Books))


In This New Town (Eileen Sheehan)

The weather here articulates itself in no set order. Fruits swelling out of season. Birds of brighter hue than I am used to: some days I am blinded.

Neighbours grow used to the late hours I keep, my pale face on their streets in the mornings. Everyone knows me as stranger. I only moved here that he might see

my face; that I might grow to know his features. But I lose sight of him on crowded streets where ivied walls reveal, in raised calligraphy, a route

I map with my fingers. I know the park by scent, by a tremble of grass; its audible whispers. The mist off the river clings to my face, my eyes. On

the far bank, my own small house


grows visible. The woman who lived there before me allowed it all run wild. I struggle to reclaim the raised beds, the network of pathways.

And I have coaxed a gravid stray with milk-soaked bread: each day she comes closer. But sky when it speaks tells me I am not myself, not myself at all.

(From Song of the Midnight Fox (Doghouse Books) )


SpĂŠirbhean (Eileen Sheehan) in memory of Chantal Lammertyn, poet i whisper a charm for your journey bright coins for your eyes a half-crown for your pocket a songbird as guide a cloak for your shoulders a prayer in my heart for you till you waken to light

In my country this is the month of the dead. Following in the old ways I lay an extra place at the table, in welcome. Come in, sit with us, do, as I speak your name to my children: reliving my story of you. My son is enthralled to hear how he was almost there when we met; floating inside me in his world of water: my secret stowaway.

I tell him, SpĂŠirbhean was the name that I gave you: Sky Woman. 46

I named you Sky Woman from the day I saw you dancing on the Citadel above Namur your body swaying to a tune that only you could hear. Your arms spread out to catch the drifts of air as a shaft of sunlight transformed your bright hair to plumage. At that moment had you stepped off into nothing you would have taken flight.

(From Down the Sunlit Hall (Doghouse Books) )


Turn (Eileen Sheehan)

As a poet you need to be in love with endings:

the soft turning of leaves; the turn of the hands of the clock;

a turn in the weather, the return of early dark to the evenings;

the turning away of faces, turning of backs.

Nonetheless, on my walk to the graveyard I plucked


a green caterpillar from the pitted road;

as a poet you need to be in love with hope.

First published in Soul Feathers Anthology (Indigo Dreams Publishing)


Biographical Note: John W. Sexton John W. Sexton lives on the south-west coast of Kerry and is the author of five poetry collections, the most recent being Petit Mal (Revival Press, 2009) and The Offspring of the Moon (Salmon Poetry 2013). His sixth collection, Futures Pass, is also forthcoming from Salmon. Under the ironic pseudonym of Sex W. Johnston he has recorded an album with legendary Stranglers frontman, Hugh Cornwell, entitled Sons Of Shiva, which has been released on Track Records. He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem The Green Owl won the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.


The Enchanted Cowpat (John W. Sexton) with his foot he breaks a crusted cowcake carries the secret over the moonlit meadow and up the carpet of the stairs unknowingly prints out sixty steps of greening toe-prints and kicks off his shoes straight under the bed falls down onto the mattress fully clothed the moon still on above the trees he snores as the shit on the rug turns on its heel retraces itself down the sixty steps walks itself out from every blade of grass a scuttery foot-rise glinting silver soft currency of green under moonbeams back up the hill each step of turd untrod resurrected whole while that fool still nods

First published in Revival From the collection Petit Mal (Revival Press, 2009)


The Willowed Grove (John W. Sexton)

I went down to the willowed grove, where the river troubles itself with stones, and met a woman made of shadow making herself a coat of thorns.

“Why do you clothe yourself in thorns, O strange young woman of the darkest skin?” “So that no man can touch my flesh, only birds and insects enter in.”

“O pretty young girl, you’re as dark as space, but your beauty outshines every star; undress yourself of your thorny coat and I’ll be your lover without a care.”

“You can’t love me, you mortal man, for I am ancient as the sea. I was unborn before you were made, and no man’s love am I meant to be.”

O I went down to the willowed grove, 52

where the river troubles itself with stones, and met a woman made of shadow making herself a coat of thorns.

First published in The Burning Bush From the collection Petit Mal (Revival Press, 2009)


Grave of the Unknown Cat (John W. Sexton) Because I was known to be fond of cats my father-in-law gave me the task of burying the dead stray that he had found in the rush-choked field below the house. In the evening, under the fading light, I took the stiffened body and dug a tight square hole. Into it went the cat, and in the weakening daylight the hole caved-in with shadows. I added a few scoops from the spade, and the following year and in the years to come watched as the place was finally covered with the lush swords of feileastram. And through that graveyard every spring comes every neighbour’s tom. Nods a torn ear to the dead, then moves on.

First published in Podium V, Edited by Noel King From the collection Vortex (Doghouse 2005)


Annunciation (John W. Sexton) Mary had fallen, drawn into sleep by the pages of her prayer-book. And the television also dozed into a grey, hissing haze of snow. When she woke an hour later the television was a square angel of light, pulsing in the blue darkness, its voice the soft vocabulary of snakes telling Mary it had implanted its electrical sperm in her brain. She did not understand a word it said, but unplugged it, rendering it dead. In Heaven, though, the ghost of the T.V. sat at the right hand of God pondering at the thing it had begot.

First published in Compost (USA) From the collection Vortex (Doghouse 2005)


Biographical Note: Maria Miraglia Born in Italy, Maria Miraglia considers herself a cosmopolitan, she loves travelling and interacting with people from different cultures. She graduated in Foreign Languages and Literatures, got a Master's degree in Evaluation and Assessment; in Teaching of Modern Languages and collaborated with the Italian Department of Education. Author of "Le Grandi Opere di Yayati Madan Gandhi"; author and editor of Antologia Poetica. Maria is the Literary Director of Pablo Neruda Italian Cultural Association, Secretary General of Writers Capital International Foundation; Honorary Member of Naziones Unidas de Las Lettras. Her poems can be found in both national and international anthologies; contributor of many poetry pages both in Italian and English. Founder and chair-woman of World Foundation for Peace. Some of her poems have been translated into Turkish, Spanish, Macedonian, Azerbaijani and Albanian languages She was conferred several national and international awards and recognitions for poetry. Two anthologies collecting some of her poems are going to be published.


HOLY EVES (Maria Miraglia) Chilly the evening air while the lights untiring shimmer in the town and the Christmas tree in front of the old church gives off bright rays of variegated colors crowded the shops of toys and gifts

And I lonely go along the town streets while memories slowly but clear flow in my mind the rain sadly follows my steps the wind tears the last leaves off

Cheerful the holy eves together now you are there silent in your dwellings the dark avenues lined 57

with cypress trees casting their ghostly shadows

Faint the lights in memory of your lives hidden the stars behind the gloomy clouds and the far moon up there once witness of your stories now guardian of your groves


Biographical Note: Louis Mulcahy

Louis Mulcahy is a potter who writes poetry. His work has been published widely in quality publications and read on RTE1, Lyric Radio and Radio na Gaeltachta. He has three collections of Poetry one in Irish and two in English, all published by An Sagart Publications. He was Founder and Director of the poetry festival An Fhéile Bheag Filíochta from 2007 to 2014. He has served as Chairman of the Crafts Council of Ireland and of Samhlaíocht Chiarraí. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from the National University of Ireland. He is married to the tapestry artist Lisbeth Mulcahy.


An Unstoppable Force (Louis Mulcahy) The seventies and eighties barely noticed — a radio mash of jingles, news and titillating scares — I was lost in trying to be the potter of our time. I don't know why, will never know. But there it was, it happened. The urge to be the best inexplicable. I don't regret, but I do wish I had not toiled the hours, had raised my eyes to smell the rain and wind straight off the sea. I wish I'd been more present in the lives of those so caring now for me. But there it was, it happened. The drive to be the best irresistible.


After Creation (Louis Mulcahy) Noting my propensity for post-natal depression, friends proclaimed that, like all babies ever born, my most fundamental tests were exquisite works of art. A celebrated poet when asked what to do when invited for a statement on indifferent work, replied without hesitation: you lie.


Appreciating Flaws in the Familiar (Louis Mulcahy) I turn the pot within my grasp, searching for a trace of he who dreamed as we all dream of reaching harmony. I wonder had he ever shivering in his kiln, crawling, pitting, blistering, or the gun shot of a dunt? Numerous are the faults that beset the artist potter. Numerous too the joys when his calculations work. Lovely the stray finger print, the perfect spiral undercut, the well formed shoulder curve, the balance head to foot, the calculated throwing rings, the concave waist support, the belly and the neck that swell, retreat, advance again and burgeoning in beauty accept the proffered glaze, to wear it like a brand new coat awaiting approbation.


Biographical Note: Ingrid Casey Ingrid Casey, is a poet, teacher, artist and mother based in Kildare. Ingrid has had work published in The Moth magazine, Banshee Lit, Southword journal. She has a poem forthcoming in Kerrie O'Brien's Looking at the Stars anthology, which will be raising funds for Dublin's Simon Community. Here is a link to the website: http://www.lookingatthestars.ie/ Ingrid has also had poems shortlisted for Hennessy New Irish Writing.

She also haw a wordpress blog, which you can see here: https://choseninks.wordpress.com/

I commenced writing two years ago, as a


Love: After Neruda's Sonnet XXXIII (Ingrid Casey) Florica walks behind Inspector, to home where she's not at-home. Children's eyes and begonias meet her here, on this threshold, waiting for her to give them chocolate, water.

Her crushed velvet skirts have followed his silver through tracts, across karst; Carpathia, Kiev, Berlin. Now here, to eternal damp and clouded summers and loved masonry.

He sees the amber of the sun in her kitchen eyes at day's end; she's a building that flies without buttress.

He lets her make coffee and listens to her laugh peal in time to the boiling water, bells in unison. 64

Erasmus (Ingrid Casey)

Anwar and Pierre flew to the university town on this damp island at the edge of Europe two months ago. Zarabe and gros blanc, they are a marbled unit, lines blurred. She is too cold, he rubs life back into her but she's not singing any more Creole love songs because the fruit here is so shit, she says. She watches droplets of condensation on the window with an intent that is also a portent. He goes out to the chilly garden to play with that damn cat and it's too-beautiful owner.


Single Mother (Ingrid Casey)

Is a poem I read, once, about a girl hitting her head, in the dark. But more than the discomfort of sharing rooms, is the discomfiture that's got a rind of dis-ease. Empty rooms; silence, and you left the back door open on an August night. Further into the forest now, than a teen mom with one cute accessory, there is a gaggle to protect. And, of course, yourself. Alone with no tribe, in the dark.


Mandible (Ingrid Casey)

Draw this beak, this jaw. It can susurrate, masticate, oscillate, fellate, well assist with at least. It forms a well-rounded chin, which you stick out when petulant or guarded or inquisitive. Never slack, except for on one side, the left, which betrays your emotion. Gristle inside, temporomandibular tantrum. Too much talking, moil in sleep, lopsided feelings. You need to speak, write, execute what is inside, balance the blue throat chakra. When you walk past trees it relaxes; tightens in the car, under the duress of traffic and all the spineclimbing aggravations the stress, the grubwork of teeth, of gears. Lying


on sand can wrap this Hermes-in-the-bones around on itself. Also hot stones, aromas and the hands of others sliding along the lines of para-sympathetic systems, slackening, the opposite of nervous. Once, a criminal caressed it, gently and unexpectedly. Out shot colours from your crown, six or seven weeks. Limning your outlines, a shaman from the wrong side but all was yellow then, a clear river. Cock your head now, cup it in your own hand, remember to choose to rest. Bird, be free. Sing, speak, sleep.


Glock (Ingrid Casey) We stood, arms linked, facing on a fallen tree. Old words printed inside crowns. The shot came then; you stumbled back, shame a soft-needled bed. I stepped off at the end, five or maybe seven steps later. You'd composed need; drew me to you. Sentinel acting out love, a post-fact, hard, liar, perfectly velvet in the greening air.


A Belgian town (Ingrid Casey)

Skirts the diamond capital, but almost all here go without work. A man is released. Approaches the media, lace windows will bleed long after the media scrum. My brothers were acting normally, he says. Mother is devastated, we are peaceful people.

He burns, shame flaming, pin-pricking down to the moons at his fingertips. Another time, it's the emerald place, wartime. Teenage son and two comrades, caught. A bomb on a bike, propped at the wall of a garda station.

A detective on his way to work flings the danger into the river. Hard labour, refusing to recognize the State. Imaginable tragedy.

Avoided at the eleventh hour. An Irish city


during the Emergency. An almost-man, imprisoned with Thomas Aquinas, repentant, alive.


Biographical Note: Alice Kinsella

Alice Kinsella is an Irish writer. She holds a BA(hons) in English Literature and Philosophy from TCD. Her poetry has been published in a variety of publications, including Headspace magazine, The Fem literary magazine, Poetry NI Holocaust memorial anthology, Poethead, Icarus, The Galway Review, Poethead, The Sunday Independent. She has work forthcoming in Headstuff, Skylight47, Hungry Hill Wild Atlantic Words anthology, Flare, and Boyne Berries. She has been shortlisted in several competitions including Creative Writing Ink’s poetry competition January 2016, Fourth Annual Bangor Poetry Competition, Hungry Hill Wild Atlantic Words Poetry Competition and longlisted in the Over the Edge new writers competition 2016. Her first play ‘The Passing’ debuted as a part of What’s the Story at the Liberties Festival, it then went on to be staged at Cruthú Arts Festival and Templebar Arts and Cutlure Festival.


Separated (Alice Kinsella) I know what you are. You are memories And photographs And bones.

You can’t define me And all of my complexity

But I know what you are You are anniversaries And withered flowers A name carved onto stone

I’m not like you We are different kinds now

You are a name A hushed tone A question Remember?

Not me. I am pure potential.


Pigeon House chimneys (Alice Kinsella)

Granddad would bring me to the beach Sandymount strand all muddy and cold No place for togs or sun cream, but wellies and splashing Wool gloves guaranteed to get wet or shoved in pockets to be withdrawn Outside home and tell mum I’d worn them all along.

He couldn’t bend down, even those days Used his stick to point out seaweed and rivers in the sand Worn out by the worms and the sea snails who never showed their faces. I’d pick up shells and raise them as close to his eye line as I could reach Ask the names and he’d tell me, and say how many more there were Back when he was a kid and ran barefoot, swam in high tide, Not dirtied by any of the muck from the factory, The skyline still unobscured by the candy cane chimneys.

There’s a photo of us hanging still in Nan’s living room Me, hunkered over a splash of sea water, Fingers pointing and tongue wagging (no doubt) Granddad stands tall, his stick waving towards The horizon unmistakable Where the chimneys are towering alongside him.


Seashell (Alice Kinsella)

The woman is a shell now. Though not rough or worn by rocks. No jagged edges or algae stains Just white and lovely Filled with echoes of the sea.

Her alabaster cheeks are Plump like pillows, pale No throb of waves to flush them. Her lips rest puckered No kiss of life to press upon them.

The woman lies empty now. In a bed of black kelp tendrils Lids smoothed like summer sands. She floats only in dreams now, The sea no longer beats for her.


Bedtime prayer (Alice Kinsella)

There are some things that visit me at night That whisper secrets long after they’re dead They do not care that there are stars alight

And blackness is their home, kept out of sight Wriggle between covers, beneath the bed There are some things that visit me at night

They’re thoughts of Armageddon, eternal quiet The fate of the world when the sun turns red It will not matter then that there are stars alight

And thoughts of God cannot make things all right Disbelief’s caused every tear that’s shed These are the things that visit me at night

When priests told me of the deity’s eternal might They never paused to think what’s in my head They did not care that there were stars alight

Burning in my brain, sparking the fright Going over things that have been said


Knowing that there are things that visit me at night That do not care that there are stars alight.


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SUBMISSIONS NB – All artwork must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Indecent and/or offensive images will not be published, and anyone found to be in breach of this will be reported to the police. Images must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Please include your name, contact details, and a short biography. You are welcome to include a photograph of yourself – this may be in colour or black and white. We cannot be responsible for the loss of or damage to any material that is sent to us, so please send copies as opposed to originals. Images may be resized in order to fit “On the Wall”. This is purely for practicality. E-mail all submissions to: g.greig3@gmail.com and title your message as follows: (Type of work here) submitted to “A New Ulster” (name of writer/artist here); or for younger contributors: “Letters to the Alley Cats” (name of contributor/parent or guardian here). Letters, reviews and other communications such as Tweets will be published in “Round the Back”. Please note that submissions may be edited. All copyright remains with the original author/artist, and no infringement is intended. These guidelines make sorting through all of our submissions a much simpler task, allowing us to spend more of our time working on getting each new edition out!



There’s an accidental theme in this months edition post on the Facebook Group if you can find it. Well, that’s just about it from us for this edition everyone. Thanks again to all of the artists who submitted their work to be presented “On the Wall”. As ever, if you didn’t make it into this edition, don’t despair! Chances are that your submission arrived just too late to be included this time. Check out future editions of “A New Ulster” to see your work showcased “On the Wall”.




We continue to provide a platform for poets and artists around the world we want to offer our thanks to the following for their financial support Richard Halperin, John Grady, P.W. Bridgman, Bridie Breen, John Byrne, Arthur Broomfield, Silva Merjanin, Orla McAlinden, Michael Whelan, Sharon Donnell, Damien Smyth, Arthur Harrier, Maire Morrissey Cummins, Alistair Graham, Strider Marcus Jones Our anthologies https://issuu.com/amosgreig/docs/anu_present_voices_for_peace https://issuu.com/amosgreig/docs/anu_poetry_anthology_-april


LAPWING PUBLICATIONS RECENT and NEW TITLES 978-1-909252-35-6 London A Poem in Ten Parts Daniel C. Bristow 978-1-909252-36-3 Clay x Niall McGrath 978-1-909252-37-0 Red Hill x Peter Branson 978-1-909252-38-7 Throats Full of Graves x Gillian Prew 978-1-909252-39-4 Entwined Waters x Jude Mukoro 978-1-909252-40-0 A Long Way to Fall x Andy Humphrey 978-1-909252-41-7 words to a peace lily at the gates of morning x Martin J. Byrne 978-1-909252-42-4 Red Roots - Orange Sky x Csilla Toldy 978-1-909252-43-1 At Last: No More Christmas in London x Bart Sonck 978-1-909252-44-8 Shreds of Pink Lace x Eliza Dear 978-1-909252-45-5 Valentines for Barbara 1943 - 2011 x J.C.Ireson 978-1-909252-46-2 The New Accord x Paul Laughlin 978-1-909252-47-9 Carrigoona Burns x Rosy Wilson 978-1-909252-48-6 The Beginnings of Trees x Geraldine Paine 978-1-909252-49-3 Landed x Will Daunt 978-1-909252-50-9 After August x Martin J. Byrne 978-1-909252-51-6 Of Dead Silences x Michael McAloran 978-1-909252-52-3 Cycles x Christine Murray 978-1-909252-53-0 Three Primes x Kelly Creighton 978-1-909252-54-7 Doji:A Blunder x Colin Dardis 978-1-909252-55-4 Echo Fields x Rose Moran RSM 978-1-909252-56-1 The Scattering Lawns x Margaret Galvin 978-1-909252-57-8 Sea Journey x Martin Egan 978-1-909252-58-5 A Famous Flower x Paul Wickham 978-1-909252-59-2 Adagios on Re – Adagios en Re x John Gohorry 978-1-909252-60-8 Remembered Bliss x Dom Sebastian Moore O.S.B 978-1-909252-61-5 Ightermurragh in the Rain x Gillian Somerville-Large 978-1-909252-62-2 Beethoven in Vienna x Michael O'Sullivan 978-1-909252-63-9 Jazz Time x Seán Street 978-1-909252-64-6 Bittersweet Seventeens x Rosie Johnston 978-1-909252-65-3 Small Stones for Bromley x Harry Owen 978-1-909252-66-0 The Elm Tree x Peter O'Neill 978-1-909252-67-7 The Naming of Things Against the Dark and The Lane x C.P. Stewart More can be found at https://sites.google.com/a/lapwingpublications.com/lapwing-store/home All titles £10.00 per paper copy or in PDF format £5.00 for 4 titles. In PDF format £5.00 for 4 titles.

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